I’ve spoken to Angel Medina on Twitter over the last few months. He’s an indie author who writes SciFi and some horror. As Angel has found success in his independent writing I have kept in contact with him. Currently, you can find his books on Amazon here, and as you can see he is breaking the top 100 in Time Travel in the Uk and the top 20 in the US. No small feat. I asked Angel if he would be kind enough to guest post on how he achieved this and he was kind enough to offer the helpful advice below.
From Angel Medina-
Yesterday July 24, 2017, was a great day for me, I reached the top 100 in Time Travel in the UK Amazon store and the top 20 in the US Store in Time Travel and Video Game adaptions. While I’m proud that I reached that plateau, it did not come without a lot of work building up my author platform and fans. So how did I do it? Well, to be honest, it was a lot of hard work, but I will share how you can have the same success as I have had lately. It will be a lot of work and will require patience, but once you have a foundation you’ll be on your way to long term success.
One of the best ways to start an author platform is to build an awesome/kick butt author page. However, the trick is to personalize it with your flavor to make it stand out from other pages in your genre. While that’s kind of impossible, but readers will see your personality for what it is if you put the effort in it. As seen above, that is my book page on Facebook for The Thousand Years War series. Right now it has a following of around 300 fans, which is not too bad for now.
However you can have the fans, but if you don’t make your page interesting, people will lose interest eventually and not head to your page anymore. So how do you keep the fans into your page?
1. Be realistic and understand people will not see your page every day as they have other authors to follow or they have to live life. So don’t beg for attention, not cool.
2. Don’t post “buy my book” every day unless your book has merit behind it. In other words, people know that you want them to buy your book. However, unless your book has great reviews and a good number of them, don’t keep repeating that they should buy your book.
3. Instead, convince them by using creative posts and put up some cool content. Use your blog to your advantage or if you don’t have one, simply put some scenes that you like or get some pics to show off a scene. Describe the characters in a post, scenes, or any special items you wish to describe. Also, use the page as a means to show off easter eggs, make it that if the reader wants that extra bit of info that could change their perspective of the story that they need to visit your page. If you visit my page, I have pictures and bios about the different aspects of my book that can attract a reader or get an actual reader more interested in finding out more about the book. Who knows if you’re good with your easter eggs, you can spawn off some cool conspiracy theories about your book.
4. When you get a great review, show it off to the world! We know getting reviews can be hard, so when you get a good one, let your fans know as that is evidence that your book is really worth their money to read.
5. Do a giveaway once in a while, don’t take it as lost revenue, take it as free publicity and if your book is good that reader will spread the word about your book.
Another thing you can do with Facebook is to join Facebook groups that deal with book promotion. The ones you want to aim for are the ones that specialize in your niche. For me, I joined some great sci-fi groups that specialize in Sci-fi/Fantasy since that’s what I like to write and that is my niche to write. You will find lots of like-minded authors and even make a few friends along the way. Some of those friends will even purchase your book as well if it’s in the same niche and interest group. To be fair sci-fi is rather easy to find, but I have seen plenty of horror groups and romance groups as well. So go out there and be sociable, after all a book spreads like a wildfire when you’re out there talking and showing yourself out there. Remember when joining groups, think of making friends and connections, don’t go in there looking for a cash in, the members will be able to spot that, trust me! And don’t be afraid to show your personality out there, people love authenticity these days.
For me SEO and all that is cool, but a blog with great content will be found and enjoyed. Bonus: If you can get your book to relate to a very popular brand you will sell more and get more attention simply because can relate it to a popular movie or brand. For example, my sci-fi series is closely related to Duke Nukem 3D and the video game nerds while my horror series has a take on Resident Evil. Not saying you should totally rip off the formula, then you’re getting into Fan Fiction which is not really what you should be aiming for. I mean try to get your own style and use some elements from popular books, movies, or video games. Try to be sociable with your fans, answering their questions or simply saying hi to them, especially when your following is low and/or you’re starting out.
Your biggest tools will be your website, Facebook page, and twitter.
However, over everything else, the amount and rating of reviews will be your biggest weapons. So get those reviews, by sending out ARC copies and/or pricing your book on the low end to start.
I wish all of your good luck and hopefully, these small tips will help you out in your quest as an author.